A diminutive daughter of Captain Al gets thrown into the mile deep end by Justin Snaith at Fairview today. If she stays, she should just about win it.
The return match of the top two rated The Merry Widow and Star Burst Galaxy in the R150 000 Listed Breeders Guineas at Fairview on Friday looks to be a highlight on a quality ten-race programme.
With Alan Greeff in such hot form, it would be folly to discount his charge Beataboutthebush, who is lurking in the shadows as a less exposed galloper and a definite threat to the higher rated duo.
They say that dynamite comes in small packages – there is nothing much of her, but Snaith’s The Merry Widow is very smart.
She won her first three starts from 800m-1200m, including a Listed race, before being beaten a half lengths in a Gr3 over 1200m.
Her KZN Champions Season campaign followed and didn’t deliver much – but she has found her feet here in the Eastern Cape and won the Breeders Guineas Plate last time, with the fast finishing Star Burst Galaxy just under a length behind her.
With Richard Fourie taking over from the suspended Gavin Lerena, they meet on the same terms over 200m further on Friday – The Merry Widow wasn’t stopping and Star Burst Galaxy was finishing well.
The latter is another who has done well in the Eastern Cape after starting life with Mike Azzie up North.
We know she stays the mile and is bred to go a little further.
The in-form Callan Murray rides her for Tara Laing and she showed touches of class as a 2yo.
Darryl Hodgson makes a rare appearance in the Eastern Cape – he travels from Milnerton with the Gimmethegreenlight filly, Primrose Lane (88).
She won 3 from 6 up to 1400m before taking on William Longsword in the CTS Mile on Met day.
Beaten 8 lengths after coming under early pressure, she is bound to be a lot more comfortable in this company.
She did not show pure raw pace when winning well up the straight at her first two starts and she plays the role of the unknown quantity at her opening Fairview start.
The yard of Eastern Cape champion trainer Alan Greeff has been in a rich vein of form with 7 winners from the last two meetings.
Greeff saddles a trio of decent 3yo fillies on Friday and with Greg Cheyne still indisposed, Andrew Fortune rides the obvious stable elect, Beataboutthebush(84).
The daughter of Gimmethegreenlight was backed to win her 1200m debut and followed through winning her first three starts.
She failed to settle when backed to odds-on at her fourth start – giving the year older Agterskot 3kgs and going down a quarter length at her first defeat.
Agterskot came out under top weight at Fairview on Monday and won a cracker – so the form looks half okay.
Andrew Fortune rides Beataboutthebush for the first time on Friday and looks the perfect foil to settle her and teach her to settle.
She tries the mile for the first time but is likely to enjoy it – being out of the smart seven-time winning Badger Land mare, Bushra who won at 1800m.
Seattle Burning (73) clicked in the blinkers second time to register her second win from ten starts.
A deterrent is that both of those successes were achieved on the polytrack and she was well and truly hammered by The Merry Widow at her last start.
While her dam only won up to 1400m, she does relax nicely and run on well – suggesting that her first run here over the mile may be what she is looking for.
The consistent Main Aim filly Another Night (71) is the third of the Greeff runners and will strip very fit after an eyecatching win over 200m shorter at the same venue last Friday.
The Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein bred product is always thereabouts and this half-sister to the top-class stayer Cape Speed has shown that she finds the mile well within her range.
She is bound to be thereabouts, even though unlikely to win.
Dorrie Sham’s Let Her Fly (70) took a while to win her maiden, but then followed up nicely with a win next time in a weak MR 60 Handicap.
She never showed last time when beaten 6 lengths by The Merry Widow in receipt of 2kgs, and on paper has no chance of a reversal if the Cape raider carries her form to the mile.
Candice Bass-Robinson travels from Milnerton with her one-time winning Trippi filly, Magic Trick (69).
While lightly raced, she has looked rather moderate since shedding her maiden at her third start and has her first run at Fairview.
While there is nothing to write home about in her formline, she may find the change a plus and could take to the right-handed track. Include in the back-end of quartets.
Visionaire’s daughter Fantasy Quest (66) represents our Personality of The Week Yvette Bremner.
The Optima Trust-bred filly is out of the Joey Ramsden trained Bridal Lace who won 9 races up to 2000m – but this stamina may not have been passed on.
Fantasy Quest faded quickly over 2000m last time and appears best around a mile.
On her official rating she is difficult to fancy at these weights.
It’s a tough call with the top two so close together – but Alan Greeff could well hold the key.
He saddles the serious threat in Beataboutthebush and has two others in the race – he can make it a true-run affair which The Merry Widow may not enjoy.
Should be a fascinating race to watch.